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Old 12-11-2019, 08:55   #1
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Inverter microwave

I've searched these boards and others. I've found that most people recommend a basic dial operate microwave. I can understand this from a parasitic drain point of view, though you can always turn the microwave off when not in use.

What I haven't seen anyone mention at all is an inverter microwave. These don't really cost much more, use less energy (up to 17% less), and cook food much better. Rather than cooking in binary, inverter microwaves can actually reduce the power output when cooking and heat food more evenly.

I'm curious if any lifeaboards here are using one?
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Old 19-11-2019, 11:26   #2
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Re: Inverter microwave

No and I dont know of anyone that uses one, but its something Im going to look into.



I see theres lots of major brand name inverter microwaves and they're not that expensive and do save power over a regular microwave. The only downside for me is we like the convection part of our Breville 800 microwave/convection oven and I dont see one made with an inverter microwave.


Edit - Breville makes a inverter/convection microwave "The Combi Wave 3" but at $450. Ouch.



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Old 19-11-2019, 12:03   #3
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Re: Inverter microwave

The LG NeoChef retails for around €119 here and seems to have a halogen-style grill too.

The Panasonics I looked at were larger (exterior volume), with no grill function. I haven't come across ones with a convection oven in, but that would be way above what I can power.

Apparently the LG unit can output as little as 300w microwave power, so probably in the region of 450-500w actual power used. Whether you could actually cook something at that low power is another question.
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Old 19-11-2019, 14:56   #4
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Re: Inverter microwave

Ive been looking and doing a more detailed search and theres gobs of Inverter microwaves around. Some are really big that have convection. The NeoChef is pretty interesting.


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Old 19-11-2019, 15:33   #5
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Re: Inverter microwave

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
... an inverter microwave...cook food much better.
You're going to need some footnotes here. Something credible - not some second year journalism student with a food blog. I'm going to need something fundamental for a person who understands thermodynamics.
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Old 19-11-2019, 15:42   #6
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Re: Inverter microwave

I could not help myself. I looked in the journals. Looks like total power consumption is not that much of an improvement, only peak load. No one is saying anything about better cooking other than heating of extremely small samples in chemistry labs.
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Old 19-11-2019, 16:23   #7
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Re: Inverter microwave

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I could not help myself. I looked in the journals. Looks like total power consumption is not that much of an improvement, only peak load. No one is saying anything about better cooking other than heating of extremely small samples in chemistry labs.

A typical 1000w microwave draws around 1500 watts. If you set the microwave power to 600w, the unit still draws 1500watts but cycles on and off more.

A 1000w inverter microwave will draw closer to 1250w at full power. That sounds like a good increase in efficiency to me. The figures are right there in the documents for the microwaves.

The second benefit is turning the power down means it actually uses less power. So you could run it from a smaller inverter. The traditional 1500w microwave will always require 1500w when running regardless of its power setting. The inverter microwave turned down to say 50% will draw at lot less energy than its full power setting unlike a conventional unit.

I've not run any tests as I have better things to do in life (like fix all the broken things on my boat , but I would think that when I need to reduce the heat source, actually doing so and having a constant stream of 30 or 50% heat, is preferable to heating at full power for 30-50% of the time. That's how you burn the outside of your food but fail to cook the inside well.
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Old 19-11-2019, 17:17   #8
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Inverter microwave

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A typical 1000w microwave draws around 1500 watts. If you set the microwave power to 600w, the unit still draws 1500watts but cycles on and off more.

I think at 600W it draws 1500W 60% of the time and 0W 40% of the time. Something like 6 seconds on followed by 4 sec off. On my microwave, I can hear the fan speed change as it cycles, probably an indication of a cheap microwave.
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Old 19-11-2019, 18:55   #9
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Re: Inverter microwave

should you not be looking at something like this if you want efficient

12V-microwave-oven - MyBoatsGear.com
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Old 19-11-2019, 19:35   #10
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Re: Inverter microwave

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should you not be looking at something like this if you want efficient

12V-microwave-oven - MyBoatsGear.com
That particular unit is discontinued and Power Hunt has discontinued all their cooking appliances., it got some shocking reviews so no surprise....
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Old 19-11-2019, 19:59   #11
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Re: Inverter microwave

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That particular unit is discontinued and Power Hunt has discontinued all their cooking appliances., it got some shocking reviews so no surprise....
it was just one of the random marine 12v microwaves i found on the net

what was interesting was its power usage that is rated at 55-70A 12v
which would be roughly 650-850 watts,considerably less than a 230v unit run through an inverter
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Old 19-11-2019, 22:12   #12
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Re: Inverter microwave

It runs for 1 min. The power usage is tiny at 1500 or 1200 either way . Not worth even thinking about.
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Old 20-11-2019, 02:41   #13
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Re: Inverter microwave

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
I've searched these boards and others. I've found that most people recommend a basic dial operate microwave. I can understand this from a parasitic drain point of view, though you can always turn the microwave off when not in use.



What I haven't seen anyone mention at all is an inverter microwave. These don't really cost much more, use less energy (up to 17% less), and cook food much better. Rather than cooking in binary, inverter microwaves can actually reduce the power output when cooking and heat food more evenly.



I'm curious if any lifeaboards here are using one?


Yep, I have one, 1200 watt max.

It is just as the technical specs say, power level varies depending on the setting you use. This is backed up by my inverter (as in the one that converts dc to ac) and the power levels are about consistent with the readings I get from the inverter display.

The manual went on about how inverter microwaves cook things better. I don’t know about that since I have never cooked anything in a microwave, I just use them to defrost or reheat stuff.

It does seem to defrost things a little better (more even) than the old sort.
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Old 20-11-2019, 02:49   #14
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Re: Inverter microwave

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It runs for 1 min. The power usage is tiny at 1500 or 1200 either way . Not worth even thinking about.
What happened to every little counts? I would expect typical usage to be something like 30 hours a year or 5mins a day (not every day), re-heating left overs might be 2:30-5 mins, longer durations for pre-cooking jacket potatoes (8 mins), perhaps defrosting some meat that hadn't completely defrosted during the day etc..

That being said I think you missed one of the points on power. Let's say I have a 1500w inverter. I cannot run a 1000w microwave no matter what power level I set it to (it will always draw 1500w when the magnetron is running). I probably can't even run an 800w microwave (typically draw 1250-1300w). The inverter microwave which costs about the same as any decent microwave could be run probably even up to 800-900w of output power.

It's interesting that there is much love for inverter motor fridges/freezers, washing machines, generators, but little for the similar tech in microwaves despite there being parity in terms of cost with conventional units, and potentially better cooking.
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Old 20-11-2019, 03:56   #15
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Re: Inverter microwave

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It runs for 1 min. The power usage is tiny at 1500 or 1200 either way . Not worth even thinking about.


The issue of instantaneous power demand is a significant one for FLA batteries.

Sure, you might use less than half a percent of the battery bank stored energy capacity, however the rate of that consumption can be too much for mid to small sized battery banks in FLA.

Of course Lithium is better in this instance.

I bought my inverter microwave to take the strain off my moderately sized battery bank. (630 AH, 12 V, FLA).

If the sun is shining then solar takes the load off and I can run the microwave at full power, but at night I just run it at 50% and save some strain on the batteries.
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